SARAH-LUELLA BAKER: MFA, RSME/T, PhD Student
When I was a child, my sister and I made magic and understanding in the woods of Northeastern Ohio*. I began to learn how to listen to the trees, birds, blooms, animals, and clouds by walking, playing, and exploring in natural environments. A child during the 80s, my parents divorced when I was young, and my sister, mother, and I traveled to Colorado* and then further West to Utah*.
In this landscape, during my teens and early 20s, I set out on a lifelong somatic inquiry, studying yoga, 5-rhythms, movement therapy, authentic movement, Laban Bartenieff, pilates, and artistic explorations of sound, movement, and breath. I also began explorations in divination, ritual arts, and astrology during this time; as well as beginning my studies in music, songwriting, and multi-cultural and diversity education.
I studied and lived in this area for ten years, completing a BFA in Modern Dance, and assisting in the direction of a small experimental dance company. In 2001, I relocated to the Bay Area*. While in California I earned an MFA in Choreography, formed a band, choreographed and performed in stage works of my own and others, and met my life partner. Through all of this time I was beginning to understand and develop myself as an educator. I was introduced to constructivist theory and began to implement emergent learning in my creative movement and choreography classes for children, teens, and adults. I also swam naked, climbed rocks, camped under stars, hiked 110 miles of the PCT, and made friends who feel like family.
In 2007 I became pregnant with my first child, and my partner Peter and I relocated to Portland, OR*- this beautiful land that I have called home for sixteen years now; the longest time this uprooted body has lived anywhere.
From 2010-2020 I founded and ran a school for young children in SE Portland- utilizing my knowledge of the arts, constructivism, emergent curriculum, nature, and love of community. Since 2020 I have focused full-time on art and healing work- offering workshops, personalized healing sessions, and multi-dimensional art experiences- as well as doing a whole lot of learning. If you are interested in the arc of my education and training, you can read more about that here.
Presently, my work in the healing and creative arts includes experiential, evolutionary, and constructivist astrology, somatic education, and multi-dimensional art explorations. I am also a PhD student in the Transformative Studies Department at the California Institute of Integral Studies.
I am so grateful to be in a relationship with this land that we call the Pacific Northwest. Here I became a mama, embarking on my most profound educational journey. With this land, I have learned so much about myself as a nurturer, artist, medium, and humxn. It oftentimes seems the perfect amalgamation of the forests of NE Ohio, with a wild nature parallel to that of Utah, and a mild enough climate to recall the Bay Area. I love this land that I call home, and it is my intention to deepen that love and understanding as time goes on, until I fall back into the earth and my spirit flies to other dimensions.
Blessings to you on this journey.
*It is important for me to remember that these are the colonizer names for these lands and that these names are only very recently adopted by some. I offer daily thanks to the ancestors who tended these lands with love and wisdom prior to colonization, and I maintain hope that we might remember from their descendants how to care for our earth, our home, our mother.
Here are their tribal names:
Lenape, Oneida, Ottawa, Wyandot, Ute, Dine, Paiute, Goshute, Shoshone, Ohlone, Coast Miwok, Chinook, Multnomah, Clackamas, Kalapuya, Molalla, Kathlamet, Wasco, Cowlitz, Siletz